Irrigation is one of the most important parts of any growing operation. As summertime approaches and temperatures rise, though, it’s more important than ever to make sure your crops receive the proper amount of water.

Sam Baldivia, FGS’ irrigation sales manager, has been spending much of the year in the field, helping customers diagnose issues with their water flow. When we last spoke with him in April, he told us he’d been seeing a lot of plugging due to calcium build-up and algae growth, as well as leaks due to varmints and coyotes. Those issues were easy enough to fix during the spring months, but they become much more challenging once daytime temperatures reach triple digits.

“In the summertime, you can’t shut the water down, so we do a lot more emergency repairs,” he explains. “If it’s 100 degrees, the moisture in the ground dries up, so if a grower falls behind with irrigation, it’s detrimental to the trees that need to stay cool and saturated. No one wants to be caught with a repair that’s going to take a week or so, because that hurts whatever’s supposed to be receiving water.”

With summertime on the horizon, Baldivia encourages growers to stock up on the right irrigation materials for the season. “I’d tell everyone to flush their lines out and make sure their system is running correctly, so they don’t encounter any down time,” he says. “Stock up on fuses for your pumps in case you blow a fuse. Stock up on copper sulphate for your reservoirs, to keep the algaecides down. Make sure you have couplers and sprinklers on hand for the start of the irrigation season.”

If that sounds like a lot of preparation, don’t worry. FGS is here to help.

“Customers can talk to their local sales representative,” Baldivia adds, “and we’ll come out to do an evaluation on their system to make sure everything is running smoothly. That’s free of charge. We’ll make sure the pressures are where they need to be.”

Various government-funded programs can also help growers improve their irrigation systems, conserve water, and reduce crop loss due to drought. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) are both administered by the USDA, and they provide financial assistance to growers looking to implement new water conversation measures on their land. FGS can offer some assistance here, too, especially when it comes to selecting and installing the most appropriate conversation plan for a particular operation.

“We’ll draw up a proper design based around the program’s requirements, make a materials list, and bid for the customers,” Baldivia says. “Basically, we’ll help steer them in the right direction.”

For those looking for a little more steering, remember that FGS also specializes in custom-designed, commercial irrigation systems that ensure proper distribution uniformity across a grower’s entire operation. We provide onsite installation, too! We’re just a phone call away if any repairs are needed.

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